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Fat or sugar? Which is worse?

Fat or sugar? Which is worse?

We all need fat to live, and we all need sugar to live. What we don’t need is too much of either. What happens with fat and sugar excess?

WHAT DOES FAT DO FOR US?

We can’t survive without some fat in our diet. It allows our bodies to absorb some essential vitamins, protects our organs, rolls out the hormones and lets us regulate our temperature.

WHAT DOES TOO MUCH OR THE WRONG SORT OF FAT DO?

Saturated or ‘trans’ fats are the bad guys. Both of these encourage your body to produce LDL cholesterol. That’s the stuff that clogs your arteries like wipes clog sewers. Go for plant-based fats wherever possible. Fats that are liquid at room temperature are the ones to eat, and to cook with. So further to that, enjoy olive oil, go light on the coconut oil.

Fats are also calorie dense. Eat too much and those excess calories will be stored as, well, fat. You know what to do!

WHAT DOES SUGAR DO FOR US?

As glucose, sugar is the basic energy for life.  Our digestive systems break foods down into glucose, which is transported in the blood to fuel muscles, brain and all body processes. Like fat, some sugar is essential.

WHAT DOES TOO MUCH SUGAR DO?

As most of us know – too  much sugar means weight gain and damaged teeth. Sugar in whole fruits doesn’t usually cause too many problems, as few of us can eat too much whole fruit. The bad stuff is ‘free sugars’. These come from the extra sweetness added to processed foods, or sugar-by-another-name items such as honey, syrups, fruit juice and smoothies.

SO WHICH IS WORSE?

Tricky one. You could say that the wrong fats are actively harmful due to their effect on the circulation. However obesity from too much sugar is also a major health risk.

What to do? Eat the right stuff, and not too much of it!

Photo by Food Photographer | Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.

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